love the moment…

there is so much pain, so much fear and anger. we can get lost in the suffering of it all. we can lose sight of the miracle of the moment, the love in the moment.

i have a practice i do (if i can step out of my suffering long enough to remember to do so!) that i would like to share with you.

when the suffering of the world, wars, poverty, discrimination, violence, corruption, indifference seem too overwhelming, i practice this. i bring my focus down to small stuff, the stuff we generally overlook. nature is a great aid in this. take a few moments to sit and breathe while observing nature, listening to birds’ song, the swaying of branches with the breeze dancing through, watching some insects (ants and bees are great!). even taking some time to observe your own body. have you ever stopped and looked at your skin for a while? fascinating! an appreciation arises naturally when we slow down, when we open and observe smaller, overlooked things.

when your personal suffering seems a burden too great to bear, go big. pull your focus out to a wider view, not centered on your smaller arena of life that can seem overwhelming. stand outside at night, be still, breathe, and observe the night sky as your eyes adjust and the stars begin to reveal themselves – spoiler alert, you can do this during the day as well, it is incredible how nuanced the blue sky can be and how magnificent clouds shapes can be. reflect on the good you see in the world, people opening their hearts, being kind, how history has a way of moving forward and improving even in the face of sometimes grave darkness and opposition. reflect on how the cycle of nature continues regardless – day into night into day, summer into fall and winter, into spring and summer. reflect even on your own life as a whole – observing all that has changed in your life from as a little kid until now. be aware of the rollercoaster of highs and lows, of drops and climbs. you have suffered before and have gotten through it. accept, forgive and love the journey thus far. everything changes. life persists.

love the moment.

~j

#TheLongArc #PlantingSeeds #LoveTheMoment #life #journey #suffering #meditation #zen #enso #JMWart

#RiseUp

last year i was marching, joining tens of thousands of others through the streets is downtown San Diego, joining hundreds of thousands in other cities around this country, joining millions around the world, rising up and speaking out.

i am unable to march this year, but my heart is there with so many courageous and caring souls putting their passion to the pavement.

it is still so necessary. the attack on our lands, on immigrants, on others in the margins – Muslims, people of color, women, LGBTQ, elderly, poor, sick is ongoing. not always in big ways, but in little ways chipped away and ignored with more salacious headlines. the Russia issue continues to reveal that it is much deeper and goes much further than thought. and a twitterstorm of fake news, insults, continues to stream out of phone coddling fingers of a leader who golfs and holds court at his private resort every weekend.

there’s a lot to be concerned about and speak to. may we of sound mind continue to retain focus, avoid false equivalence, persist in our resistance, and ensure our passion – our drive is motivated from fierce compassion and unwavering love for that which is true, kind, and open-hearted. may it be put into action with our feet, our hands, our voices, and our art.

truth will out, love will win, and light will shine bright.

#TheResistance #RiseUp #resist #StandUp #SpeakOut #TheLongArc #PlantingSeeds #LoveWins #FierceCompassion #MindfulResistance #MeditateAndResist

listen…

one of our greatest skills and assets, listening with our hearts.

~j

#listen #OpenHeart #wisdom #TheLongArc #PlantingSeeds #MindfulResistance #MeditateAndResist #TheResistance #Zen #Buddhism #enso #JMWart

you are…

Don’t try to be someone else…

the cosmos has come together

and helped you manifest in this way, and you are beautiful just as you are.

To be beautiful means to be yourself.

~

Thich Nhat Hanh

you are. simple as that.

it takes courage to be authentic, to settle into who we are and all we have to offer through our talents and our open hearts, yet continue to open and grow. but it is our authenticity that benefits the world and connects us to others in a genuine way.

be you, be beautiful. it is your gift to this world.

~j

#YouAre #BeYou #BeBeautiful #authenticity #courage #presence #gift #OpenHeart #beauty #PlantingSeeds #TheLongArc #Zen #enso #JMWart

just this…

“Light, landscape and sky.

There is no language of the holy.

The sacred lies in the ordinary.”

~

Ming-Dao Deng

#JustThis #presence #sacred #Tao #nature #life #Zen #Buddhism #enso #JMWart

Zen…

“Zen does not confuse spirituality with thinking about God while peeling potatoes. Zen is just peeling potatoes.”

~

Alan Watts

i love this quote. i suppose it can be perceived as a bit provocative. some may shutter a bit when first reading it. it shakes you loose a bit, as Zen often does.

but what is provocative about recognizing the sacred in the ordinary?

if we cannot find the sacred in peeling potatoes, in washing the dishes, in sweeping, then where can we find it?

it is easy to find the sacred in what we perceive as beautiful, but what about the things we perceive as mundane? can we find the sacred there as well?

in Zen monasteries, novice monks are given toilet duty, cleaning the toilets. can we find the sacred in cleaning a toilet? there is a reason some Zen Masters continued to do it even in old age.

in the Khuddaka Nikaya, the Buddha stated, “In your seeing, there should be only the seeing. In your hearing, nothing but the hearing; in your smelling, tasting, and touching, nothing but smelling, testing, and touching; in your thinking, nothing but the thought.”

so the question remains, can we be with our life as it is right now? in Zen, that is sacred, not some other place, being some other person, doing some other thing. it IS here and now. it is in the doing, in the being, it is the journey.

when we open to this, when we are aware of the freedom and responsibility of this, we find our balance, we see our interconnection, and we open further and further, embracing this fleeting world and our fleeting relationships with love.

~j

12.24.17

flow like water…

Water is fluid, soft, and yielding. But water will wear away rock, which is rigid and cannot yield. As a rule, whatever is fluid, soft, and yielding will overcome whatever is rigid and hard. This is another paradox: what is soft is strong.

~

Lao Tzu

#water #paradox #LaoTzu #wisdom #Tao #Taoism #FlowLikeWater #Zen #Enso #JMWart